Food Day

The day we get together each week to give nourishing food – collected from vendors, retailers and farmers – to people in need.

Food security that transforms lives

“There is something special about of giving away fresh produce, these are not just leftovers or discards. The rich green hues of chard and lettuce leaves spilling over the edge of the box, bright red cherry tomatoes peeking out from underneath, shiny crisp apples tucked into corners, the heft and stability of potatoes and onions lining the bottom... When we giveaway these boxes, it’s says 'you’re valuable, your body is valuable'.”
Free The Need Volunteer

Fresh, nutritious food is a luxury many cannot afford, but is an integral part of leading a healthy, happy life. With this need met, families can put their energy into pursuing a better life, getting an education, giving something better to their children, and fulfilling their potential in a country that encourages them to dream.

Since 1989, volunteers have collected and distributed over 5 million pounds of food to over 86 thousand families. This food has been distributed to families within specific neighborhoods in San Francisco, Alameda and Marin counties. In 2001, Free the Need expanded to Siskiyou County.

Affectionately named “Food Day,” one day every week volunteers collect, sort and box-up donations of fresh produce, load a vehicle which drives into the neighborhood and distributes the family-sized food boxes (up to 45 lbs each!) to the residents on a first-come, first-served basis. In addition, volunteers and neighborhood residents help carry and deliver the food boxes to mothers with infants or young children, shut-ins and the elderly.

Food Day in San Francisco takes place every Friday where we are currently providing boxes of fresh produce to 100-150 families each week.

In Siskiyou County, Food Day takes place at the Klamath River Community Hall on Sunday afternoons. Members of the community gather together to make the boxes and distribute them throughout the area to families in need.

4,968 boxes
distributed in 2022

To receive a food box:

In San Francisco: call (415) 587-6685 for current location, Fridays at 11am

In Siskiyou County: call (415) 587-6685 for time and location

Meet a volunteer

“The main satisfaction I get from volunteering for Free the Need is the look of thanks on the faces of so many people when they get a box of food. Seeing people who are truly grateful for the assistance just overwhelms me with joy. The fact that there is so much surplus food available blows me away. The fact that you can just ask and receive is unbelievable. I find it astronomical how many tons of food that Free the Need has collected and given away over the 17 years I have been a volunteer. Sometimes people want to help but just don’t know what to do. Free the Need provides an avenue for people to give and feel good about it.”

This is Joslyn, one of our sweet and enthusiastic volunteers. We were introduced to her one Friday in October 1992 when she drove by a small front yard filled with busy volunteers and wholesome produce boxes, and we sure are grateful she stuck around for the party. Joslyn, like many of our other volunteers, heard about us through one of her close friends. The surplus is attractive and magnetic. Since then she’s been the eager, smiling face we look forward to seeing every Friday morning. A seasoned volunteer, she is organized and efficient, with a warm personality that even makes new volunteers feel like they’re a part of a family. Every volunteer is a capable and valuable one, and we’ve enjoyed seeing her two daughters and grandchildren joining in on all of the colorful activity.

Volunteer at Food Day

No need to sign up, just show up and be ready to share in the fun!

San Francisco

Every Friday | 9am - 12pm

M C Metal, Inc.
1374 Donner Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94124

Siskyou County

Contact Us for Day and Time

Klamath River Community Hall
19716 State Highway 96
Klamath River, CA 96050

For more information, call (415) 587-6685 or contact us here

You make it possible

Every time you share your surplus, you inspire abundance

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